School board member Michael Byrd has urged voters and reporters to ask Whipple to release it. (Let's hope Byrd's suggestion isn't a violation of the gag order.) The Pitch has written to Whipple urging him to publicize the report, but no one will offer a clue as to when or if that will happen. No one will say why it's being delayed.
Since former Superintendent Benjamin Demps' departure, the judge has repeatedly warned board members not to micromanage district employees or manipulate district business to benefit their friends or family members. "Who, us?" asked the board members -- until Whipple ordered the investigation.
Perhaps his four-month inquiry discovered nothing wrong. That would give the judge little incentive to make the report public -- though board members would disagree. Or perhaps the probe found serious misbehavior. Or there's a third possibility: The report could be a compilation of intriguing but unproven allegations.
The investigator, Richard Marien, was not empowered to interrogate people under oath in his wide-ranging probe. Yet in a simultaneous Whipple-approved investigation, Arthur Benson II has deposed sworn witnesses. The attorney, who represents students who were victims of segregation decades ago, has been investigating the Black United Front's influence on the school district.
Benson suspects the Black United Front's activities in the district's head office could widen the "achievement gap" between white and black students. So Whipple let Benson zero in on a political group with which he has long been at odds. In the mid-'90s the white lawyer fought the Black United Front's successful efforts to create an African-centered education program in several schools. Several years ago, members of the group tried to intervene in the case that's earned Benson millions of dollars.
We can't wait to measure the achievement gap between Marien's and Benson's investigations.